Home video changed the world. The cultural and historical impact of the VHS tape was enormous. This film traces the ripples of that impact by examining the myriad aspects of society that were altered by the creation of videotape.
A documentary on the Z Channel, one of the first pay cable stations in the US, and its programming chief, Jerry Harvey. Debuting in 1974, the LA-based channel's eclectic slate of movies ... See full summary »
Vera Carlisle Anderson,
In 1968, Pittsburgh native, George Romero, would direct a low budget film that would revolutionize the horror genre forever, Night of the Living Dead. Through interviews with the talents involved, the story of this film creation is told and how it reflected its time with a grotesque and powerful immediacy. Furthermore, the film's difficult and controversial release to an unsuspecting film public is also recounted as it survived the early revulsion to become a landmark cinematic creation with a profound effect on popular culture. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Like it or not, George A. Romero truly is the father of today's horror cinema. The original "Dead" trilogy NIGHT, DAWN, and DAY accomplish that simple truth in unveiling a very human metaphor wrapped in the grisly package of blood-letting entertainment. And why not celebrate the man and his accomplishments? Perhaps dig deep into the motives and industry tales of movie-making. Perhaps that is what Rob Kuhns set out to do with his BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD documentary. Unfortunately, the data unearthed in BIRTH OF THE LIVING DEAD could have been a solid DVD featurette. Instead, an additional 40 minutes of repetitiveness was added, dragging the film down as a lumbering, undead walker.
To its credit, BIRTH sets the stage of 1968 America, when NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was released, quite well providing key insights to the civil rights movement as well as to the fact that NIGHT stars an African American. Likewise, the documentary gets right into how and why the film was made and some of the issues and trickery Romero and his crew employed during production and editing; Romero himself is presented as both jolly and candid.
Then the film rinses and repeats. And repeats. And, oh, did you forget that NIGHT starred an African American? Well hold on tight, you'll be reminded in just a few short minutes as horror film director Larry Fessenden will tell you how great the original film is and repeat the lines verbatim for the camera.
Granted, the docu's subject is NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, but that topic alone screams out for accompaniment. There was absolutely no mention of the 1990 remake, nor the 2004 remake of DAWN. And obviously the most apparent of Romero's offspring THE WALKING DEAD is only shown as a background image.
Kuhns showed the historical relevance of NIGHT, but only provided the merest taste of its social impact, a taste that was sorely missed.
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